Lord of the Nations
Jeremiah 49:Honestly, I find Jeremiah 49 to be a rather dreary chapter of Scripture. It repeatedly announces God’s judgment upon several Gentile nations: the Ammonites (49:1-6), Edom (49:7-22), Damascus (49:23-27), Kedar and Hazor (49:28-33), and Elam (49:34-39). Words of hope are rare in this chapter (49:6, 11, 39).
Jeremiah 49 assumes that the God of Israel is, in fact, the Lord of all nations. He has the power and authority to judge and to bless, not only his chosen people, but also all peoples. In the mystery of God’s providence, he uses all nations for his purposes.
To be sure, sometimes it is hard for us to see God’s hand in world events. Things seem to happen so randomly. Injustice often appears to have the upper hand. We wonder “Where is God?” Yet, in faith shaped by Scripture, we trust that God is ultimately in control, working all things together according to his will.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you understand God’s sovereignty over the nations? What difference does this make in your life (if any)?PRAYER: King of king and Lord of lords, when I read Jeremiah 49, I am reminded that you are indeed sovereign over all nations. No authority on earth exists apart from you. No nation or people or human institution will escape your judgment.
Honestly, Lord, I find this both disconcerting and comforting. If you’re really in charge, I wonder why things in our world can be so messed up, so rife with injustice. I wonder why so many people suffer, why so many are hungry. Yet, at the same time, I am comforted by the conviction that you are ultimately in charge, even when I can’t discern your presence. In faith, I acknowledge your sovereignty and live my life with confidence that you are working all things together for good. Still, I would ask that you help me to trust you more.
All praise be to you, God of all nations! Amen.